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Sky Q now lets you record six channels at a time, voice control and Dolby Atmos still to come

Sky's best box gets better, with more improvements in the pipeline

SkyQSettings

One of the biggest advantages of the Sky Q 2TB box over its predecessor was the ability to record a whopping five programmes at the same time, while you watch a sixth. If for some reason you found that wasn’t enough, then we have some good news for you – you can now record six and watch a seventh. Here’s how.

While the feature is currently available on all 2TB boxes, you actually have to dive into the settings menu and activate it yourself. Navigate to Settings > Setup > Preferences. There you’ll see an option called Maximum number of recordings. If you so desire, you can then increase the number from five to six.

There is a reason why this isn’t enabled by default, however. There are a couple of minor features that you’ll lose out on in exchange for the additional recording slot. The first is the video-preview thumbnail when you open your EPG – that will now show as a static image. The other is the loss of Sky Sports split-screen functionality. It makes sense, as they would be occupying the tuner required for the additional recording power you’ve now requisitioned.

This feature is available only to those who own the Sky Q 2TB box – the model that also enables 4K viewing. Those with the 1TB box will have to settle for the standard five simultaneous recordings.

Sky Q 2TB review – click to see how Sky’s top-tier set-top box fared in our lab test

What next for Sky Q?

Sky Timeline

Now that the extra recording capacity has rolled out, we can take a look to what’s next for Sky Q, and there are two big new additions on the immediate horizon.

The first is voice control. Voice search was highly anticipated and, after a bit of a delay, it finally began rolling out in March earlier this year. Voice control means you won’t just be able to use the voice remote to search for content, but you’ll also be able to fully control playback, too. We don’t know exactly how this will work yet, but we imagine it will be similar to the voice remotes used with the Amazon Fire TV Stick or Roku 3 – just hold down the microphone button on the side and tell it what you want to do, such as ‘pause’ or ‘play’.

The other big new feature will be Dolby Atmos support. Atmos is the latest version of Dolby’s industry-standard surround-sound technology, with more and more productions adopting it as time goes on. Most of the titles that use it are 4K ultra high-definition movies, so Sky Cinema customers with a particularly flashy home set-up will no doubt be keen for its release. The exact time frame for its arrival, along with voice control, is unclear, but we’d expect it to land before the end of the year.

Still deciding between Sky and Virgin? Read our guide to Sky Q vs Virgin Media V6 for the lowdown on their very best set top boxes.

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